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South Brunswick Football Advances to Playoff Semifinals with Blowout Win

Vikings open playoffs with 63-14 win over Hillsborough.

The best season in the history of the South Brunswick High School football team got even better on Friday night.

South Brunswick improved to 9-0 with a 63-14 win over Hillsborough in the opening game of the Central Jersey Group IV playoffs on Friday evening.

"If you're going to be a championship team, you have to make plays and put teams away," South Brunswick Coach Rick Mantz said. "We did that tonight."

Hillsborough played a very competitive first half, trailing just 21-14 after a touchdown by John Banaciski with 3:31 to play in the second quarter.

From that point on, it would be all South Brunswick.

The Vikings needed less than two minutes to get its 14-point lead back. It carried that momentum into the second half, scoring 35 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters.

"Coach Mantz gave us a great motivational speech at the half," noted Jevon Tyree. "We came out even more fired up in the second half than we were at the start of the game."

Actually, Tyree was one of the players that started off fast and never slowed down. He scored on a 55-yard run on South Brunswick's first play from scrimmage. Tyree then scored on runs of 17 and 5 yards in the second quarter, including a touchdown with 1:35 to go in the first half.

For the game, Tyree carried the ball 9 times for 162 yards. He also caught a pass for 36 yards. Tyree also did the majority of the kickoffs and also had three tackles on defense.

"Coming back from an injury, I was pumped to play," Tyree said.

That pumped feeling took over the entire South Brunswick team in the second half.

"We stumbled early, but Hillsborough also made some plays," Mantz noted. "The kids rallied in the second half and kept their focus."

The second half started with South Brunswick recovering the opening kickoff.

"That was a huge play," Mantz noted.

Instead of Hillsborough having a chance to close the SBHS lead to one score, South Brunswick began to pull away. The Vikings scored on every possession in the second half, starting with a 23-yard touchdown by Azim Blakey.

TJ Perkowski added touchdowns on runs of 7 and 45 yards. Tyree scored on a 6-yard run. Dontae Strickland scored on a 1-yard run.

South Brunswick's other score came on a 1-yard run by Darrell Harper in the second quarter.

"To the kids' credit, we made some adjustments and played really well in the second half," Mantz noted.

As a result, South Brunswick improved to 9-0 and will now get a chance to play for a spot in the Central Jersey Group IV title game. All the Vikings need to do is win at home on Nov. 18 against Sayreville in a rematch from earlier this season.

"I want to go to the state championship, but we have to focus on that next game first," Tyree said.

"I'm a GMC (Greater Middlesex Conference) guy," Mantz said. "It'll be great to have a rematch with Sayreville."

Especially with the game being held at South Brunswick High School.

"Home cooking is real nice," Mantz said. "We're proud to be hosting the semifinal game."

It's just another accomplishment in a historic season that keeps getting better for South Brunswick.


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